Top of the table Adelaide United Youth Reserves host cellar dweller Adelaide Blue Eagles Reserves at the VALO Football Centre on Saturday.
Both sides come into the game in contrasting form but Head Coach, Adrian Stenta, warned his side cannot afford to be complacent.
Blue Eagles have suffered four straight defeats and are winless from nine matches this season.
It is a much different story for the United Youth Reserves, however, who lie in first place and come into the match in scoring form following a 7-1 cup win over White City and then a 7-4 victory away to South Adelaide.
Stenta said the mindset from his players during training this week has been impressive.
“In training this week the boys have been really good,” Stenta said.
“Whilst we were able to get the three points on the weekend against South Adelaide, there were elements of our performance we acknowledge were great and elements of our performance that we acknowledge need to improve.
“The boys have really taken that on board and worked hard at training to prepare for this weekend’s game.”
Despite the Young Reds’ successful start to the campaign there is always room for improvement, and Stenta admitted he would like to see his team concede less goals.
Adelaide have scored a league-high 30 goals but have shipped 19, mostly as a result of individual mistakes.
“It’s definitely something we’ve spoken about and will continue to work on,” he said.
“If you look at the goals we’re conceding a number of them are just the result of some skill errors or some decision-making mistakes.
“Defensively as a team in terms of our structure it hasn’t been too bad.
“So we’re just trying to tidy up those areas and a bit more consistency from our players in regards to defending and that’ll come because the players are young and still developing.
“But the pleasing thing is we were able to play some really positive, attacking football and we’ve been able to put away a few goals across both competitions in the last few weeks.”
Stenta also believed the table was not a fair reflection on Blue Eagles this year.
But with Adelaide still expected to win, to maintain their position in the standings, Stenta said it is an ideal match to see how the team handle the pressure mentally.
“We’re expecting a really tough clash and I’ve been able to watch them a couple on a couple of occasions this year because they’ve played some Monday night games,” he said.
“We think they’re better than their ladder position suggests.
“One of the added benefits of being involved in the cup competition this year is that we’ve come up against teams in lower divisions which has meant we’ve been favourites going into those games.
“So that’s been another challenge that the boys have had to embrace and take into games.
“… It’s another chance for them to show how much they’ve developed from a mental point of view with their football this year.”
Adelaide United Youth host Adelaide Blue Eagles in Round 10 of the National Premier League 2019 season on Saturday, 18 May at VALO Football Centre – The Parks. Kick-off is at 3.00 PM. Reserves kick-off at 12.45pm